NEW YORK — A dissident Cone Mills Corp. investor, who in 1999 launched an unsuccessful bid to take the company private, is on the warpath again.
Mark Kozberg, who now serves as a director with the Greensboro, N.C.-based firm, said in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission that he has assembled a group of investors who together hold an 8.9 percent stake in the mill. The group opposes Cone’s recently disclosed plan to recapitalize.
The group has formed a corporation called MK Acquisition Inc., which on Thursday hired Innisfree M&A Inc. to advise it on getting in touch with Cone stockholders, according to the Wednesday SEC filing.
The group intends to nominate a slate of three additional directors, which would give it four seats on the 11 member board, including the one Kozberg holds, through 2004.
As reported last month, Cone said that to raise funds to drive its Mexican expansion it would sell $27 million in convertible debt to a fund managed by W.L. Ross & Co. The notes could be converted into Cone Mills shares. The Kozberg group argues the deal would dilute the stock and therefore be bad for shareholders.
Cone currently has 25.8 million shares outstanding. The Kozberg group together holds 2.3 million shares.
Cone officials declined to comment Wednesday, citing a quiet period before the release of the firm’s fiscal 2002 results, which are expected out today. Kozberg could not be reached for comment.
However, in a January statement, he said of the financial plan, "There is no compelling reason why Cone Mills, which has returned to profitability and continues to reduce debt, should, at this time, be severely diluting its shareholders at a price below the lowest price the stock has traded since its IPO."
Cone shares closed at $1.62, up 11 cents, in New York Stock Exchange trading Wednesday.
The three directors proposed by the Kozberg group in its SEC filing are Charles Barry, described as a Minneapolis businessman; Randall Kominsky, said to be chief investment officer of CRP Holdings Inc., a private investment firm, and Edward S. Adams, identified as the Howard E. Buhse professor of law and finance and co-director of Kommerstad Center for Business Law & Entrepreneurship at the University of Minnesota.Cone’s current board includes two insiders: chairman and former chief executive officer Dewey Trogdon and current president and ceo John Bakane. The other nine directors are outsiders.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)